Philippines blocks entry of suspected ISIS trainer

Paterno R. Esmaquel II
Philippines blocks entry of suspected ISIS trainer
Suspected Islamic State trainer Naeem Hussain, a 36-year-old Pakistani, makes a second failed attempt to enter the Philippines this year

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) confirmed on Monday, October 1, that it recently blocked a suspected Islamic State (ISIS) trainer, a 36-year-old Pakistani, from entering the Philippines.

The BI said it intercepted Naeem Hussain, 36, at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga on September 22. Hussain had arrived via an Emirates flight from Dubai.

“He was turned away because he is on our alert list of suspected international terrorists for being an alleged trainer of Daesh,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, using an alternative name for ISIS.

BI Officer-in-Charge Deputy Commissioner Marc Red Mariñas said Hussain “was immediately excluded and booked on the first available flight of origin.”

The BI said Hussain “has been on the watch list of the military intelligence community, which sought the BI’s help in monitoring the Pakistani’s possible entry or departure from the country.”

Hussain claimed that he has worked as a digital designer for the past 16 years, and that “he traveled to the Philippines to visit his Filipina girlfriend” living in Olongapo City.

The BI said Hussain was already denied entry into the Philippines in May. Back then, he attempted to enter the Philippines, also from Dubai, through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. 

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Carlito Galvez Jr earlier said ISIS remains the biggest security threat to the Philippines. ISIS “is looking to establish a more substantial base in the Philippines,” wrote SITE Intelligence Group executive director and founder Rita Katz. –

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email